We have been noting for years that, with almost all the world’s major component placement equipment makers on the block, sooner or later, someone was going to be bought (or shut down).
Today, that day came, as semiconductor equipment OEM ASM said it would acquire Siemens’ Electronics Assembly Systems business unit.
“Acquired” is a delicate term: Siemens will actually pay ASM 29 million euros (roughly$37.9 million) to take the money-losing unit off its hands.
Hong Kong-based ASM thinks it can do what Siemens could never master: develop a profitable channel in Asia. Siemens’ highly engineered machines are generally expensive relative to its Japanese competitors, and attempts to develop a model whereby it could compete on price as well as technology haven’t yet managed to break the string of several successive quarters of (big) losses.
With tens of thousands of machines in place around the world, Siemens’ place in the pantheon of electronics assembly equipment manufacturers is secure. Today we salute the legacy of the thousands of its engineers who designed some of the best machines the industry has ever seen, and we hope that under ASM’s management, the unit might again return to its former glory.